The ten female finalists of the StateoftheART Gallery Award present an exhibition exploring themes of identity, the physical body, our shared South African history and a wonder and concern for the natural world.
Lebogang Mabusela uses the shapes and textures of doilies to present the female body in her printmaking. Doilies in South Africa are knitted by mothers, grandmothers, women and girls and embody a story and an experience, collectively shared and unshared. With similar shapes and patterns inspired by Ndebele houses and her own Grandmother’s doilies, Jo Roets creates delicate geometric clay sculptures reflecting a shared humanity despite cultural differences.
Unity in Diversity is also the overriding theme in Tina Teles' work, as she wholeheartedly portrays the outcasts of society with a sense of grace and beauty in her oil portrait paintings. Similarly, Anina Deetlef’s portraits touch on the universal concept that like the skin of our bodies we are all unique, beautifully flawed and ever-evolving. An individual's histories and complexities lie unseen beneath their visible skin and bone surface, as is explored in Anna-Carien Goosen’s large moving scenes exploring how our minds shift between these various physical, virtual and emotional realities. In comparable ways, Janna Prinsloo takes the viewer beyond the simple reality of the figures she paints to something beyond it, whether it is a dream, an aspiration, or a vision beyond what we can see. She does this by not painting the whole, but leaving parts unfinished, exposing the wood panel underneath.
Instead of leaving parts out, Adele van Heerden layers her ink drawings on top of each other, making subtle commentary on the relevance of the commemoration of war heroes in a post-colonial landscape, encouraging the viewer to question their understanding of monuments with the juxtaposition of horses and colourful flowers. There are flowers in Lezanne Kotze’s paintings too – but they are contained in vivariums, representing a need to re-establish the umbilical connection to the earth and create and care for our own personal environments in an intimate relationship that feeds and flourishes.
Nadine Hansen’s haunting self-portraits with birds and flowers also hint upon this connection to nature, and the many natural wildlife traits which reflect in the human psyche. The ideas of nature, wonder and environmental concern are brought home to Cape Town with Chloe Obermeyer’s cyanotype prints of oceans and coastlines, suggesting nature’s ability to perplex scientific conclusions and its tendency to inspire human imagination and fiction.
Address: 50 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday: 10:00 - 17:00. Saturday: 10:00 - 14:00.